Each Novum-U classroom has a 6" x 18" foamcore sign with that bit of advice from Seth Godin --an encourager of our school.
Unpondered it's dismissed as merely a platitude (a remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful) --a nice way of saying it's a hackneyed phrase.
The challenge, like the fish story in David Foster Wallace's famous graduation speech, is that if the only thing one knows is shortcuts, the saying is a platitude --that, perhaps, is why it needs to be pondered.
Malcom Gladwell, who took a lot of heat, after being accused of putting the precise number of 10,000 hours necessary to master a given field, went beyond Seth's 3-word directive.
The real challenge is..., "How does one get those who, --were they fish would say, "what the hell is water?"--, always take shortcuts to stop?" --is it required that they know they are taking shortcuts in order to stop, or can they simply change behavior and stop?
Nolan Bushnell has discussed a particular college course: Intro to pottery. The class was split into two groups: one whose sole assignment was to create one particular piece of pottery upon which their entire final grade was based; the other to create as many of a particular piece of pottery as they could. --It turned out that those who created more pieces also produced better pieces: they absolutely chased shortcuts.
The real, real challenge is..., "What do you mean by 'shortcut'?" If its a value neutral phrase, it's merely a "an accelerated way of doing or achieving something".--clearly Seth does not mean it this way.
Perhaps the shortcut Seth referred to was what Malcom was addressing: not learning the basics; thinking one could be creative before mastering the domain (see TED Talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi).
Hmmm... something to ponder